Senate works on hack-proofing elections
by Evan Wilt
Posted 3/20/18, 01:55 pm
WASHINGTON—Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Tuesday a new effort to secure U.S. election systems. The panel said it completed the first phase of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to the Trump campaign. The committee scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to discuss possible legislation to protect election systems. A draft report of the committee’s recommendations is still classified. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the committee, said the panel found zero evidence that Russia successfully changed a single vote in 2016, but added that doesn’t mean U.S. voting systems weren’t at risk. He explained Russia targeted 22 states’ election systems in 2016 and successfully breached at least one. “The Russians were relentless in attempting to meddle in the 2016 elections,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said. “We may never know the full extent of the Russian malicious attacks.” Campaigning for the 2018 congressional midterm elections is already underway, and lawmakers want to help states ensure the integrity of each ballot. Burr said the panel discovered 40 states use election equipment that’s more than a decade old, and 14 states have systems that do not create a verifiable paper trail. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said states have the flexibility to set up their own election practices, but she urged them to double-check their systems. She encouraged states to ensure voting machines are not connected to the internet, saying, “Russia can’t hack a piece of paper.”
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Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.